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New data from the Dutch statistics office (CBS) show that the staffing industry continued to deteriorate in the fourth quarter 2012. And companies expect little to change in the first three months of the New Year as the labour market remains tough for recruiters.
The CBS reports that revenue declined for the fourth consecutive quarter in the three months to December with staffing companies posting a -5% drop in revenue when compared to a year ago. The CBS cites economic conditions as the main cause for the downturn as demand for staff weakened. It said that revenues declined by a total of -3% in 2012.
The number of hours worked by temporary staff also declined by -3% in the fourth quarter, the same rate of decline seen throughout the year. In 2011, the staffing market posted healthier figures with a reported increase of nearly +5% in the number of hours worked, the CBS said.
Recruiters also believe that the economic climate worsened from the third into the fourth quarter with 20% of companies reporting weaker market conditions. Overall, firms complained about a weak order volume throughout 2012.
This means that companies look into the future with some pessimism with many expecting the economic environment to weaken in the first quarter. On average, 15% project staffing revenue to decline further in the three months to March.